The veteran Miguel Montero was having a decent season as the Cubs' backup catcher, hitting .286/.366/.439 in 112 plate appearances, but he shot himself in the foot by criticizing teammate Jake Arrieta's handling of the running game. Montero was quickly DFA'd and traded to Toronto. He fared far worse with the Blue Jays, hitting .138/.248/.241 in 101 plate appearances. While some of that poor performance was due to poor BABIP luck, as Montero's BABIP was just .159 with the Jays, the end result was Montero grading out as a below-replacement-level player for a second straight season, according to fWAR. A sub-replacement-level 34-year-old won't be a very attractive target on the free agent market, and if Montero does end up with a job, it will likely be as a backup. The majority of fantasy owners will have little reason to look his way.
Montero has been informed that he's made the team as the backup catcher, Jamal Collier of MLB.com reports. Pedro Severino was optioned down Saturday, cementing Montero's spot behind Matt Wieters. The Nationals have yet to formally announced the move to add Montero to the roster. The 34-year-old Montero hasn't done much of note this spring, and even with this news, he's still merely a last-ditch option in two-catcher NL-only leagues.
Montero went 1-for-2 with a walk and a solo home run in Thursday's Grapefruit League game against the Mets. The veteran backstop is competing with Pedro Severino for the No. 2 catcher role on the Nats behind Matt Wieters, so any power displays can only help his chances. Montero's only managed to post an SLG above .400, or OPS above .700, once in the last five seasons, however, so if he does win the job he'll only be of fantasy interest in NL-only formats and as an occasional punt play in DFS.
Montero agreed to a minor-league contract with Washington on Thursday, which includes an invitation to spring training, Chelsea Janes of The Washington Post reports. Montero is set to compete for the Nationals' backup job with Pedro Severino at the big-league camp. The longtime veteran appeared in 76 games split between the Cubs and Blue Jays last season, slashing just .216/.310/.346 with six home runs and 16 RBI, as his campaign torpedoed as soon as he got to Toronto after faring decently well with Chicago. It would be best to look elsewhere for value as Montero isn't going to provide much at the dish, even in the event he wins the reserve job to back up Matt Wieters,
Montero is not in the lineup for Sunday's game against the Tigers. Montero will be stationed on the bench again as the Blue Jays will deploy Luke Maile behind the plate for their series finale against Anibal Sanchez and the Tigers.
Montero is back behind the plate Thursday, batting seventh, Arden Zwelling of Sportsnet.ca reports. He grabbed a breather Wednesday, but he'll end his brief bench occupation. Montero will continue manning backstop for the majority of contests with Russell Martin (oblique) on the disabled list.